Pandora names former Microsoft executive as new CEO

By on September 12, 2013, 9:30 AM
microsoft, ceo, pandora, joe kennedy, brian mcandrews, madrona

Joe Kennedy is out, Brian McAndrews is in as chief executive officer, president and chairman of Pandora. The outgoing CEO announced plans earlier this year to relinquish the top spot although he continued to hold the position until a suitable replacement could be found.

Pandora founder and chief strategy officer Tim Westergren said the streaming music provider had a very specific list of criteria for their new CEO. They were strategic with regard to finding the right person and they believe McAndrews is that person. No one better understands the intersection of technology and advertising like he does, Westergren noted.

The former Microsoft executive most recently worked with Madrona Venture Group but before that, he was the CEO of a digital marketing company called aQuantive. Microsoft scooped up that company in 2007 and put McAndrews to work running their advertiser and publisher solutions group. He left that position in 2009 to work for Madrona.

Pandora generates revenue through advertising, an area that McAndrews clearly excels at. Earlier rumors suggested Pandora was interesting in hiring a high profile name with a background in radio and / or music like former Sirius XM CEO Mel Karmazin. Others believed the streaming music service wanted a proven digital entertainment executive such as former Hulu chief Jason Kilar but of course, neither of those panned out.

Now is as good of time as any to get serious about revenue. Pandora has already built a solid listener base but with rival services from the likes of Apple and Google jumping into the game, all bets are off.

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